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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) introduced a bill that would increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, reported the Associated Press. This would raise it more than a dollar higher than the $9 President Obama proposed during February’s State of the Union Address.
The president’s proposal doesn’t go far enough, said Harkin, who is chairman of the Senate Labor Committee and one of several legislators putting pressure on Congress to raise the minimum wage to a “reasonable” level.
Legislators in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois and elsewhere have also pushed to raise their states’ minimum wage above the federal level, stating that it is not high enough for anyone to live on, as CSNews Online previously reported.
The bill, proposed by Harkin and Miller, would increase the federal minimum wage from its current rate of $7.25 per hour to $10.10 by 2015 and calls for automatic annual increases tied to changes in the cost of living, according to the report. The minimum wage was last increased in July 2009. An individual who works full-time at the current rate makes $15,080 per year.
Supporters of a minimum wage increase say it would help workers get out of poverty and provide a boost to the economy, but detractors say it would hurt employers, such as convenience store operators.